SOE News

Graduate students and faculty identify common interests at annual symposium

Nearly 60 graduate students and faculty gathered from School of Education’s many program areas at the Annual Graduate Student/Faculty Symposium on May 7. Hosted by the School’s Graduate Student Association, the symposium aims to foster collaborations that contribute to scholarly productivity by providing an opportunity for students and faculty to discuss educational issues and research interests.

The focus of this year’s symposium was the development of new models that will effectively facilitate faculty/student collaboration. Doctoral students Karyl Askew, the event’s organizer, and Julie Keane discussed challenges and solutions to faculty/student research collaborations, including empowering graduate students to assume heightened levels of responsibility in the faculty-student exchange, facilitating cross-strand graduate student peer mentoring, and moving beyond funding challenges to think creatively about the other academic currencies.

Askew and Keane presented the SOE Research Collaboration Model, a guide to facilitating research collaboration groups. The guide was developed based on discussions with faculty members and students from all graduate program areas and with special guidance from Kate Gallagher, assistant professor of early childhood, intervention and literacy. It will be available for download from the School’s GSA Web page starting in June.

“The symposium highlighted the multiple strengths and similarities that exist within Peabody among our faculty and graduate students,” Askew noted. “The annual symposium is a rare opportunity for cross-strand sharing among faculty and students that strives to enhance levels of collaboration toward balancing scholarship, teaching and service for all members of our community of scholars.”

Several faculty members highlighted opportunities for research collaborations, including Kathleen Brown, Jocelyn Glazier, Jeff Greene, Dana Griffin and Latish Reed. The presentations offered students and faculty brief introductions to possible research collaborations in areas ranging from Griffin’s work in examining parents’ perceptions of school involvement, to Greene’s work with epistemic and ontologic cognition, to Reed’s work with social justice in educational administration and teaching practices.

Students and faculty discussed how to facilitate cross-disciplinary research collaboration in break-out sessions. The sessions, organized around three broad topic areas, facilitated multi-program discussions. They were guided by the faculty presenters along with additional faculty members Carol Malloy, Judith Meece, George Noblit and Xue Lan Rong, and graduate students Daniella Cook, Aaron Cooley, Buck Cooper and Crystal Hill.

Faculty and students commented on the value of learning about colleagues’ work across program areas. The participants challenged themselves to examine their own research interests through different lenses. From these discussions, at least one multi-student and multi-faculty partnership was formed around a specific scholarly product. Overall, all participants who completed on-site evaluations of the symposium reported that the event was a valuable use of their time.

The symposium was sponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. Members of the symposium planning committee were: Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation students Karyl Askew (chair), Erik Bentsen, Lara Costa and Tangie Gray Fleming; Culture, Curriculum and Change students Crystal Hill and Julie Keane; Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy student Yongmei Li; Educational Leadership student Alisa McLean; and School Administration student Erica Shoulders.